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When visiting a new city, the exploring of all of its hidden, and the not so hidden gems, among which are also the new local shops, concept stores, fashion studios, and showrooms. We all seek for an authentic experience and (let’s admit) we feel good when we shop.

Some people travel abroad to see historical monuments or explore nature. Others go to known cities for their fashion and design. This type of tourism is enjoying an increasing interest: more tourists do not want to bring home from their holiday destinations traditional souvenirs but are looking for something more contemporary and practical. It will now be easier to find the latest designs or fashion accessories of local designers in Bratislava and its vicinity with the help of a new tool – the Bratislava Fashion Map 2018.

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Bratislava is gaining recognition as a MICE destination, and another big contributor to pinning the city on the world map of tourist destinations is the development of shopping tourism. This segment evolves out of three major sectors: Creative Tourism, Cultural Tourism, and Shopping Tourism. Fashion Tourism can be defined as “the interaction between Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), trade associations, tourism suppliers and host communities, with people traveling to and visiting a particular place for business or leisure to enjoy, experiment, discover, study, trade, communicate about and consume fashion.

All over the world, today cities are increasingly using the cultural industries for the development of tourism and other industries to boost their economic fortune and to position themselves in the global market. There is often no need for cities to specialize in any new activity but rather to diversify their economy and it is in this context that fashion tourism has been adopted and promoted in many cities.

Fashion is a global industry and many capital cities have press-grabbing trade activity at least once a year, e.g. Bratislava through its Bratislava Fashion Week, and this is often the starting point for many DMOs to take fashion seriously as a new anchor for their tourism industry and visitor economy. They are consciously pushing fashion week trade events into the public eye to raise their city’s fashionable credentials and encourage visitors to consider travel to their city.

Photo credit: Slovak fashion week

Designers have either opened studios to sell their pieces or offer their products in multi-brand shops. This is a proof that the growing trend of local and sustainable fashion has reached Slovakia. More evidence of the increased interest of Slovaks in local fashion is the Trenčín Mesto Módy (Trenčín the City of Fashion) festival, which is returning to the western Slovakia city after a several-year hiatus.

Photo credit: Trečin mesto mody

Slovak fashion now is experiencing a revival. Slovaks are more interested in products from local designers, and the number of places where people can buy Slovak fashion has grown. You can do some great shopping in Bratislava. Fashion is on the rise here and now there are many shops for great clothing styles. Glasswork and art is also a specialty of the region. Wine production is quite important in Slovakia so be sure to check out the wine shops or even head to the source at a winery.

 The main shopping street in Bratislava’s historic Old Town is rather sparse and many shops were converted into souvenir shops as the main shopping activity moved to shopping malls mentioned above. There are several department stores of which the biggest is Tesco MY in the city center (Kamenne nánestie Square – where nám. SNP meets Šancová Str.).

By: Ajda Borak

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